Just forget the words and sing along

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ode to Kevin Conroy

I'm still not one for pirating TV shows and movies, but I think it might be time to start, because I want to catch the new episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This is the latest Batman cartoon. Each one features Batman teaming up with another DC Comics hero...they've been digging up a lot of obscure, B- and C-list heroes to team up with Batman. For a lot of them, it's their first time in animation, so it's a lot of fun for the nerds like me. And now I'm geeking out because Kevin Conroy is about to do a special guest voice in a couple of upcoming episodes.

For those who don't care, Kevin Conroy did the voice of Batman on Batman: The Animated Series, and to a lot of fanboys out there, Conroy is *THE* voice of Batman. It's pretty much agreed that Conroy nailed his audition, and is still the definitive portrayal of Batman. For that series of straight-to-DVD animated films that DC Comics is currently doing, there's always a massive fan uproar when they learn that the film features Batman and Conroy is not voicing the character. For example, there's an upcoming one called Batman: Under the Red Hood, in which Batman will be voiced by Bruce Greenwood, best known right now to my fellow trekkies as Capt. Pike in Star Trek. He's got a great voice for Batman, but he's no Conroy.

I understand the need to have a different voice for Batman in these different interpretations. Sometimes, you just need a different actor to help with that different interpretation. Right now, in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Batman is voiced by Diedrich Bader, probably still best remembered as Oswald on The Drew Carey Show. And Bader is doing a wonderful job portraying a light-hearted Batman in this light-hearted interpretation. I'm not sure Conroy could do a silly Batman.

But still, it makes me geek out when it's announced Conroy is coming on to do a guest voice. In the last Batman cartoon, The Batman, Conroy popped up as John Grayson, the father of Dick Grayson, aka Robin. That episode was also geek-tacular in that Mark Hamil, who voiced the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series, voiced Tony Zucco, the mob hitman who murdered Dick Grayson's parents.

Conroy will be popping up on Batman: The Brave and the Bold doing the voice of the Batman of Zurr-en-Arr. In order to keep with the light-hearted tone of the series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold draws a lot from the comics of the 1950s and 1960s. And from that era, we have the Batman of Zurr-en-Arr. Zurr-en-Arr is another planet, where they have grand old time watching us with their high-powered telescopes. One young man is inspired by the exploits of Batman to become a Batman for Zurr-en-Arr. But eventually, the Batman of Zurr-en-Arr encounters a villain so great that the only thing he can think of doing is teleporting the real Batman the Zurr-en-Arr to help him out.

Apparently, Conroy will also turn up on The Brave and the Bold voicing The Phantom Stranger, so I've got to start watching that show.

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